Legace tonite. Tomorrow?

January 5, 2006

The Associated Press can be a little presumptuous at times:

The Detroit Red Wings expect to get their starting goaltender back just in time to face a team he usually defeats.

They’re referring, of course, to Manny Legace’s return to the net this evening.  Starting goaltender, eh?  Well, tonite’s starter anyway.

Mike Babcock, apparently, is not swayed by the AP.

From today’s Detroit News:

Legace hasn’t played since spraining his left knee Nov. 25. Chris Osgoodhas been the primary starter since.

Of Legace playing, Babcock said: “It’s time. But it’s up to him. I’m asked every day which goalie is going to play.

“Coaches don’t make that decision. Those guys (the goalies) make the decisions (with their play).”

Just for fun, because the editorial staff here at Abel to Yzerman loves nothing more than a goalie controversy, let’s look ahead to 2200 (10pm) tonite and assume the Wings are coming off a victory that featured a strong performance from their “starting” goaltender.  What then?  Who starts against Nashville tomorrow? 

Statistically, they’re practically identical.  Both have started 19. Manny’s won 13, Osgood 12.  Manny’s GAA is better: 2.21 to 2.81.  He has the advantage on save percentage, as well: .914 to .895.

Overall, the Wings have looked better with Legace in net.  Of course, that was in October when my neighbor Rick, who has no experience in goal, would have looked good against that schedule.

As we stated earlier this week, this month is of supreme importance to the Wings.  It’s a brutal schedule.  Maybe Osgood and Legace share duties this month against the league’s best competition, and they go from there.

At some point, someone has to claim that job.  Sooner or later, Babcock has to start thinking playoffs and get one goalie ready for the postseason run.  Heck, Kenny Holland may have more to say about that than anyone if he decides to swing a deal.  Is that likely?  I don’t think so.  Like it or not, one of our two current goalies is going to have to step forward.  Soon.


3 Responses to “Legace tonite. Tomorrow?”

  1. Paul Says:

    Art Regner claimed last night Ozzie would be starting against Nashville.
    Sounded more like “Ozzei worship” than a fact. What happens if Manny stand on his head tonight Art?

  2. Olongapo Joe Says:

    Games on consecutive nights usually means the goalies split the duties. That may not be the case here, however, as Legace, excepting his one-game stint in Grand Rapids, has been out of action quite a while and should be well-rested. I suppose he could go both nights.

    All in all, I’d prefer Legace in net against the Blues tonight (to work the kinks out against a lesser opponent) and have Oz go against the Preds. But that’s just me.

  3. iwocpo Says:

    If Manny stands on his head tonite Art’s eating crow again. His normal meal.

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